When you have had breast cancer, and it has been treated, a new persistent pain in your upper body is problematic. A bruise, a torn muscle, or the unmentionable M (for metastase)? So I woke up last Thursday planning my life before the pending oblivion. I would get that damned memoir done, and write the two sequels, and a new one on a different perspective. I would bundle up all my poetry and save it to a USB stick, and I would throw away a lot of old paper. Even though my father's papers have proved invaluable for me, I think I can't burden my own kids with mine. And then I would have a massive garage sale, fly to Zambia one more time, give the money to Edith for her campaign, and say goodbye.
That was the early morning plan, before I got a doctor's opinion. A friend who is a doctor told me to see my own GP as soon as possible.
I am not afraid of death, but I am nervous about dying.
And it certainly gives me a different way of looking at the clutter around me: photo albums galore, with journalling; collections of stones, shells, bakelite, dolls, African artefacts (some useful, like baskets); shelves full of books (so full, there are new books lying on top of the older vertical ones).
There is so much stuff in the world already, why do I make more of it? There's all my drawings, the supplies for creative album-making, materials for ideas and projects as yet unborn ... Will I be (is anybody, really) remembered for my stuff, for my output, my work, my playful way with words? Or will people talk about my qualities, my contribution, the difference I did or didn't make?